Bermuda Residents Question Missing Information on St. George's Hotel Project
More questions than answers seemed to emerge from a recent Bermuda town hall meeting at which officials discussed the government’s plans to build a new $120 million resort in the historic St. George’s district in partnership with developer Desarrollos Hotelco Group.
Attendees at the Nov. 5 meeting, reported in the Bermuda Royal Gazette, expressed concern regarding a “lack of consultation” prior to the government’s signing of a master development agreement and approval of legislation this summer to allow for the resort’s construction.
Another attendee noted that renderings of the project have yet to be made public, and said the agreement amounted to a “blank check” for the developer.
Announced last year, plans call for a 128-room hotel with an 18-hole golf course, 24 villas, 16 estate residences, a spa and fitness center, swimming pools and a casino. The hotel would be built on the site of a former Club Med resort and will be operated by the St. Regis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand.
Francis Richardson, permanent secretary for Bermuda’s Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport, said at the meeting that the resort would take 30 to 36 months to complete with construction slated to begin in the second quarter of 2016.
The project’s developer, Desarrollos, was identified through a request for proposals process launched last year by Bermuda’s government with the objective of creating “a high quality tourism development that will complement the St. George’s UNESCO World Heritage Site designation and accentuate the historical significance of the area, while providing economic opportunities for the people of St. George’s and Bermuda.”
Desarrollos’ projects include the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, and Marriott and Renaissance Hotels in Caracas, Venezuela.
Shawn Crockwell, Bermuda’s tourism minister, said the resort “has the potential to spur other developments and provide exponential employment opportunities. It is crucial to Bermuda and it will have a positive impact on our island.”
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